PHI302: Social and Political Philosophy


PHI302: Social and Political Philosophy

Key details

Accredited towardsBachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts
Unit typeElective unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hours3 hours per week
Offered inSemester 2
Tuition feeLearn more



This unit introduces students to some of the fundamental concepts, approaches and debates in political philosophy. Topics to be covered include social contract theory, human rights, majoritarianism, natural law, the different kinds of political regime, economic justice, the nature of authority and the role of religion in politics. We will read selections from ancient, medieval and modern authors. An overarching theme of the unit will be the striking contrast between the individualist, rights-oriented approach to politics characteristic of modern political philosophers from Hobbes onwards and the virtue-oriented approach characteristic of premodern political philosophy.


Learning outcomes

The unit learning outcomes develop in students an awareness of the value and relevance of the study strand. On completion of this unit of study, students will have acquired:

  1. an understanding of the key concepts and distinctions in political philosophy, including: state, state of nature, social contract, sovereignty, natural law, natural rights, freedom, etc.
  2. an understanding of the nature of and interrelationships between, the political theories of Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, and others.



Interested in other Philosophy units?

PHI101: Introduction to Philosophy
PHI102: Metaphysics
PHI202: Moral Philosophy
PHI204: Political Philosophy
PHI301: Modern Philosophy
PHI302: Social and Political Philosophy
PHI303: Philosophy of Language
PHI304: Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy
PHI305: Intensive Study of a Text in Classical Philosophy
PHI306: Intensive Study of a Text in Modern Philosophy



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